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When authorities do nothing about sociopaths—disaster

Last summer, former Army Pfc. Steven D. Green was charged in the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, and the murder of her mother, father and 5-year-old sister.

The incident took place on March 12, 2006. According to CNN.com, Green and four other soldiers were “drinking whiskey, playing cards and hitting golf balls when Green brought up the idea of going to a house near the checkpoint where they were stationed to rape the girl.”

Green was described as “persistent.” The other four soldiers went along with the plan.

They all changed into dark clothing and covered their faces. With one soldier posted to guard the door, the other four went in. While one or two of the other soldiers raped the teenager—their testimonies differed—the parents and the young girl were herded into a bedroom where Green shot them. He then came out, raped the teenager and shot her. Green poured kerosene on the girl’s bullet-ridden body. She was set on fire, although it is unclear who did it.

The attack was made to look like the work of Iraqi insurgents. For awhile, the soldiers got away with it. But in June, 2006, other soldiers in the unit became suspicious of the incident and told their superiors.

Homicidal threat

Green was arrested on June 30, 2006 in North Carolina, according to washingtonpost.com. He had already been honorably discharged from the Army for an unspecified “personality disorder.”

Last week, the Associated Press reported that on December 21, 2005—almost three months before the killings—Green was diagnosed as a homicidal threat by a military mental health team. Here’s what happened next, according to AP:

The treatment was several small doses of Seroquel — a drug to regulate his mood — and a directive to get some sleep, according to medical records obtained by the AP. The next day, he returned to duty in the particularly violent stretch of desert in the southern Baghdad suburbs known as the “Triangle of Death.”

No action taken

AP reports that the military mental health team had no further contact with Green until March 20, eight days after the murders. Then he was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and declared unfit for service. He was discharged and sent home.

So while military mental health authorities did nothing, a U.S. soldier with “homicidal ideations” committed one of the worst atrocities of the war.

It’s just another example of what can happen when authorities in a position to do something about a sociopath take no action.

For more on this case, read:

An itchy finger—Steven Green went to Iraq eager to ‘Kill ‘em all’ at msnbc.com.

When the personality disorder wears camouflage at nytimes.com. (Registration required.)

Authorities don’t get it

The reason authorities fail to take appropriate action, I suspect, is that when it comes to sociopaths, psychopaths, or antisocial personality disorder, they simply don’t get it.

They can’t imagine that the charismatic, seemingly concerned individual they are dealing with is a predator. They don’t understand what can happen when someone has absolutely no conscience. They fail to comprehend that some people who appear to be absolutely normal are, in fact, inherently evil.

Lovefraud frequently hears horror stories about authorities who don’t get it. Usually, they’re family court judges who insist on giving sociopathic parents custody or visitation, or court-appointed therapists who don’t see exactly what is sitting in front of them. The result is ex-spouses who continue to be victimized and children who are emotionally damaged.

I’m sure there are also cases in which the victims end up dead.



6 Comments on "When authorities do nothing about sociopaths—disaster"

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  1. LAMan says:

    This is very chilling. Thank you, Donna. This blog helps me keep my head on straight. Although, I feel I am improving as time goes by, I continue to be plagued by periodic “soft spots” for the relationship I had. This blog keeps hammering home the reality of who I was dealing with. While not a murderer (I assume), the person I was involved with has some form of the disorder. His charm, intelligence, and insight into my personal life haunt me still. I very much need these constant reminders. I want to wash this person out of my mind. Thank you.



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  2. kevinburley says:

    One reason authorities don’t get the sociopathic phenomenon, may be because they have never knowingly been involved intimately with one. It may take a very personal experience where one discovers the depth of deception that opens up ones eyes to the incredible impact a sociopath can have on the peronsal and societal level. I know from first hand experience, as do many visitors to this site. As one goes on through life, one is bound to run into many sociopaths in every day life, and yet until one experiences the real thing closely, a person may go his or her entire life without realizing the many times ones path has been crossed and affected in various ways by the machinations of the sociopath. So it may be that even if those in authority think they understand the concept of what a sociopath is, they may not really, and so they may not act accordingly when dealing with the situation. If someone has never tasted the succulence of fruit, an understanding of its flavor is not likely possible. So too, it may be that unless one tastes the fruits of a sociopath, one is unlikely to realize its essence and power.
    There is also, of course, a darker explanation to why some of those in authority do not seem to deal with the issue in a loud fashion. I fear, that many of those postions are occupied by the sociopath himself. This is clearly evident and out in the open when it comes to priests in the Catholic church. It may be that the government is full at its topmost postions with the same. And of course, it is unlikely, they those people will want to shine a bright light on exposing the abuse that there lives perpetuate upon others.



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  3. amr says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I could not agree more. Even though I have never formally studied psychology, psychiatry, criminology (etc etc) I just know that after my experience last year I have and always will have a much better true understanding of psychopathy than 99.9% of judges, police officers, psychologists and others whose job it often is to deal with these people.

    Maybe some of us should get together and write a book (or two). I read a book about psychopaths recently – an Australian one; I forget the title for the moment – and was greatly UNDERwhelmed by the degree of insight the authors showed into the nature of these people.

    I agree about the disproportionate prevalence of psychopaths amongst those in power too. One partial cause is that a person who cannot love is forced to seek gratification in other arenas. Another is that it is actually an advantage to have no feelings to do what one has to do to “get to the top” in politics
    and big business!



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  4. Bobbie says:

    The psychological effects of psychopaths are long-lasting and very destructive. Two nights ago, I dreampt (yet again) about my “pet” psychopath – and he has been dead since October 1998. Just when I think I have forgotten him and what he did to me (and others) – he pops up in my dreams. (See part of my story in the archives for March 2006 re online trolling for victims).

    I agree with the previous respondents – it is impossible to truly understand psychopaths unless you have personally had a “close encounter”. I also agree that our competitive “winner takes all” society actually encourages, promotes, and rewards psychopathic behaviour.

    A war zone provides the ideal situation where psychopaths can relax and be their true selves – believing that they are unlikely to ever be criticised or punished for their behaviour. That is one of the main reasons why war criminals should be brought to justice – no matter how long ago they perpetrated their crimes. I would hazard (an educated) guess that many of our politicians who are prepared to send others to war, are psychopaths (dressed in suits).



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  5. 421dmb2 says:

    My experience in dealing with the family court system is that the people who work in it…lawyers, judges, guardian ad litums, etc….are well meaning people. They seem like they really want the best for the children, but they are very busy, so they don’t take the time to dig deep enough for the truth, and also they are a little bit arogant. If they have never dealt with a sociopath personally or in their practice, then they don’t want to hear about it….almost like it isn’t true…it doesn’t exist. I think the number of cases that involve sociopaths is too small for lawyers and court systems to get good at recognizing and handling these types of cases.



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  6. jessndrs says:

    The more complicated the case, the harder it is to find someone to take it. It is a long process and you need to do as much research on your own as you can and collect evidence to present them with.
    Because of the exposing sites, I think we will see more progression in the near future.
    The number of cases are growing because the information is getting out there so people can stand against the sociopathic types that reep destruction.



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